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Monday, 29 July 2013

Jongmyo Shrine: A Requiem for Kings and Queens of Joseon Dynasty

Jongmyo (Hanja: 宗廟) is a Confucian shrine dedicated to the memorial services for the deceased kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910). It is located at 157 Jongno/Bell Road, Hunjeong-dong 1-2 beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu. According to UNESCO, the shrine is the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved and the ritual ceremonies continue a tradition established since the 14th century. Such shrines existed during the Three Kingdoms of Korea period but only the shrines for the rulers of Joseon remain. The Jongmyo Shrine was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1995.

When it was built in 1394 by order of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye, it was thought to be one of the longest buildings in Asia, if not the longest. The main hall, known as Jeongjeon, had seven rooms. Each room was reserved for a king and his queen. The complex was expanded by King Sejong who ordered the construction of Yeongnyeongjeon (Hall of Eternal Comfort). This practice of expansion continued, with the growth of the complex moving from west to east, because of the need to house more memorial tablets during the reigns of later kings until there were a total of nineteen rooms. However, during the Imjin Japanese Invasion (1592~1598), Japanese invaders burned down the original shrine and a new complex was constructed in 1601 CE which has survived to this day. The original tablets were saved in the invasion by hiding them in the house of a commoner and also survive to this day. A king's tablets were enshrined three years after his death. There are 19 memorial tablets of kings and 30 of their queens, placed in 19 chambers. Each room is very simple and plain in design. Only two kings' memorial tablets are not enshrined here. In addition to the tablet, there is a panels listing the king's accomplishments.

The current Jeongjeon is National treasure of Korea No. 227 and is the longest building in Korea of traditional design. The south entrance gate was reserved for spirits to enter and exit, the east gate was for the king, and the west gate was for the performers of the royal ritual.

Viewed from the king's throne at Gyeongbok Palace, Jongmyo Shrine would have been on the king's left while the Sajik Shrine, another important Confucian shrine, was on the right. This arrangement was derived from Chinese practice. The main halls are surrounded by hills. In front of the main hall is the Woldae Courtyard, which is 150 meters in length and 100 meters in width.

The Festival: Jongmyo Daeje/Jongmyo Jerye (Royal Ancestral Rites of Jongmyo Shrine)
Jongmyo Jerye or Jongmyo Daeje (Hangul/Hanja: 종묘제례 or 종묘대제/宗廟祭禮 or 宗廟大祭) is a rite held for worshipping the late kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty in Jongmyo ShrineSeoul Jongno-gu, South Korea. It is held every year on the first Sunday of May. The Jongmyo rite is usually accompanied with the court music playing (Jerye-ak) and dance called Ilmu or line Dance. Jongmyo Jerye and Jeryeak were designated as the first of South Korea's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.

The Jongmyo rites originated from the ancient Chinese era. They were practiced in Korea for the first time in Silla era and preserved from the Goryeo Dynasty to the last Korean Dynasty of Joseon. Along with the ceremony for praying to the Gods of Earth for bountiful crops, it is considered Korea's highest-ranked rites. These practices have been lost in China but Korea still preserved it well.

The Jerye procedures were divided into three parts. It is regarded as Korea's highest-ranked ritual, so it was held strictly and solemnly. The first part is the procedures to invite and greet the spirits. Most of the rites are held by king, officiants and his family. The first part's procedures are jagye (purification). Chwiwi is the part when the king and choheongwan (people who bring the wine for offering rituals) take the position into the chamber of the shrine. Then they wash their hands for greeting the spirits (gwansewi). In the Cheonghaengrye and Singwanrye rituals, they begin the rite of greeting the gods of Heaven and Earth by offering wine.

The second is rituals for entertaining the spirits. It is started the rites of Jinchan, which serves 63 kinds of foods to the spirits. Then the king begin to serve the first wine offering to the ancestral rites (Choheonrye) followed by Aheongwan (Crown Prince) and Jongheongwan (Prime Minister). This ritual is followed by rite of reciting the prayer paper by people called Daechukgwan. Aheonrye and Jongheonryeare the rites of the second and third (last) of wine offering.

The third part is the last rites which are held to send off the spirits to heaven. Eumbok is an occasion of sharing foods and wine to the officiants. The Cheonbyeondu is the rite of removing all the foods served for the spirits. In Songsin, the Choheongwan and other officiants bows four times to send off the spirits to heaven. Mangryorye is the last rite held by burning the prayer papers and the king is reported by the Heongwan and Daechukgwan that the rituals and services are completed and all the officiants withdraw.

During the rituals of Jerye, it were held together with the court music playing (Jerye-ak) to bring an enjoyment for the spirits invited into the rites. Jerye-ak compositions played in the rites were Botaepyeong and Jeongdaeeop. There were also songs that accompanied the jerye-ak, named Jongmyo Akjang.

An elaborate performance of ancient court music (with accompanying dance) known as Jongmyo jeryeak (hangul: 종묘제례악; hanja: 宗廟祭禮樂) is performed there each year. Musicians, dancers, and scholars would perform Confucian rituals, such as the Jongmyo Daeje (Royal Shrine Ritual) in the courtyard five times a year. Today the rituals have been reconstructed and revived. The Jongmyo Daeje has been designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 56 and is performed every year in May. The Jongmyo Jerye-ak, the traditional court music of Joseon, is performed by the Royal Court Orchestra and has been designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 1. This court music has its origins in Chinese court music that was brought to Korea during the Goryeo period. King Sejong composed new music for the ritual based largely on hyangak (with some dangak) in 1447 and 1462.

The Jerye's dance is called Ilmu (line dance). Ilmu divided into Botaepyeong-ji-mu (dance to praise achievements of the former kings), and Jeongdaeeop-ji-mu, (dance to praise the king's military achievements). Ilmu dances are performed by a group of 84 women dancers wearing purpled-clothing dance. They called Palilmu because they dance in 8 lines and rows.

Ilmu divided into two types of dance, Munmu and Mumu. Munmu is accompanied by Botaepyeong-ji-ak, with Yak (a three-holed bamboo flute) in the left hand and Jeok (a pheasant-feather tasseled wooden bar) in the right hand. Mumu is a military dance. The dancers move fastly by holding wooden swords and the rear four rows wooden spears in the front four rows .

French Connection-Korean Republic (FCKR)

English/Anglais: extract from wikipedia.org
France–South Korea relations (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 한불관계/韓佛關係/HanBul Gwan-gye) have spanned over a period from the 19th century to the present. The Embassy of the French Republic is located at 43-12 French Embassy Lane/France Daesagwan-gil, Off Seosomun Avenue/Seosomunno, Hapdong 30-beonji, Seoul Seodaemun-gu. Korean Republic has an embassy in 125 Rue de Grenelle, Quartier des Invalides, 7th Arrondissement of Paris, Île-de-France Region. According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 64% of South Koreans view France's influence positively, with only 13% expressing a negative view. However, French views of South Korea are slightly negative, with 37% viewing South Korea positively and 47% viewing South Korea negatively.

Initial French involvement in the 19th century focused on facilitating and defending the spread of Catholic Christianity in Korea. The first French missionary to Korea, Father Philippe Maubant, arrived in the country in 1836. After that date, missionaries would continue to come to Korea from China, often at great risks. In September 1846, the French Admiral Jean-Baptiste Cécille sailed to Korea in order to obtain the release of an imprisoned Korean priest named Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon, but Kim was soon executed. In 1847, after various involvements in Vietnam and Okinawa, Cécille again sailed to Korea to try to infiltrate some missionaries, but his ship ran aground and he had to be rescued by a British ship.

In 1866, reacting to greater numbers of Korean converts to Catholicism as well as the humiliations suffered by China at the hands of Westerners during the Opium Wars, the Korean court clamped down on the illicit French missionaries, massacring French Catholic missionaries and Koreans converts alike.

That same year France launched a punitive expedition against Korea, invading and occupying portions of Ganghwa Island, Incheon Metropole in the fall of 1866. At the first battle, the Korean infantry division lost heavily, and General Yang Heon-su concluded that only a large cavalry division could stand up to French firepower. An ambush by Korean forces on a French party attempting to occupy the strategically located Jeondeung Temple (전등사/傳燈寺) on the island‘s south coast resulted in French casualties. French realization that they were far outnumbered and outgunned forced them to abandon the island and their expedition. The entire incident later became known as the Byeong-in Yang-yo, or Byeongin French Invasion (1866).

France and Korea established their first official relations in 1886 after a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation was signed between the two countries. In 1887, France sent its first official representative, Victor Collin de Plancy along with his translator, Maurice Courant. He [Courant] would later be known as the "father" of Korean studies in France. In France, the first records of a Korean living there permanently, Hong Jong-woo, who arrived there not too long after official relations were established. Arriving in Marseille in 1890, he will spend a few years working in France in a museum where he would be very helpful in establishing the first Korean Art and Culture section. Yet, it would not be until the 1900 Paris World's Fair/Exposition Universelle that Korea would be "introduced" to the French public.

Japan's invasion of Korea led to a break in Franco-Korean relations. For more than 40 years, from 1906 to 1949, France did not have a diplomatic representation in Korea. This was due, of course, to World War II and the few years that followed the end of the hostilities. Yet, despite the fact that the embassy was closed, this did not mean that relations ended altogether. In 1919, a delegation of the Korean government in exile was opened in Paris in 1919, which acted as the liaison between the two entities during those difficult years. In 1949, the embassy was officially re-opened and a new ambassador took office in Seoul. Unfortunately for him, he was taken prisoner and spent three years, from 1950 to 1953, in North Korea until he was released and granted a diplomatic post in a different country.

The Korean War was a turning point that helped strengthen relations between the two countries. Before that time, relations had always been more or less limited to a few individuals at the governmental level. The war introduced Korea to the French public as a whole, as the war raged on. From 1950 to 1953, 3,200 French soldiers assisted South Korea by taking part in the Korean War; 270 were killed.

Out of the Korean War came something positive nonetheless: an increase in cultural and economic links between the two countries. Indeed, while the history of South Korea would be quite charged for the following decades, the two countries still maintained normal diplomatic relations. 2002 was the first time that the number of French citizens present in South Korea surpassed the number seen during the Korean War, as 6,000 to 7,000 French citizens claimed residency in South Korea. In 2016, France and the Republic of Korea will celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first treaty signed between the two countries.

France and the Republic of Korea still maintain very good relations. They collaborate on many topics and issues that are facing the world today. This was seen especially on the question of North Korea, which is of course a matter of great importance for both countries. Besides bilateral cooperation, France and South Korea also work together in international organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the OECD, etc.

On the matter of North Korea, France is one of the few European countries to not have official diplomatic relations with the DPRK. Also, France has supported the Six-party talks as well as the role of the IAEA in finding solutions to the nuclear issue.

Economic relations between the two nations are strong. French exports to South Korea were worth €2.6 billion in 2006, and France was the seventh largest investor in the Republic of Korea. South Korean exports to France during the same period were worth €4.1 billion. Cultural relations are enhanced by the presence of a French Cultural Centre in Korea, along with that of the Alliance française.

There are approximately 7,000 South Koreans living in France (excludes Korean French adoptees), and 2,000 French people living in South Korea. One of the most prominent Korean scholars of French literature was Kim Bong-gu (Born: 1922 - Died; 1991). The French government describes its relations with South Korea as "excellent".

In 2011, France returned to South Korea the many old books which had been looted in 1866 and these include the Uigwe/의궤, the Book of Royal Joseonese Rites. Under the agreement between Korea and France, France will loan the 297 books on a five-year basis to Korea, after which the loan will be automatically renewed continually.

French/Français: extract from the official site of French Embassy in Seoul
Jusqu’en 1886, il n’y a pas, à proprement parler, de relations franco-coréennes. Auparavant, les contacts sont en effet limités à quelques marins et missionnaires. Le premier missionnaire français en Corée est le Père Pierre MAUBANT (Nom en Coréen: Beom Se-hyeong/범세형), qui arrive en 1836. Les premiers missionnaires français venus de Chine, bravant l’interdiction faite aux étrangers d’entrer dans le « royaume ermite », sont systématiquement torturés et mis à mort (vagues de persécution en 1839, 1846 et 1866). En 1866, neuf missionnaires français sont exécutés en Corée sur ordre du Régent Heungseon-Daewongun, père du Empereur Gojong-Gwangmu. La Marine française lance alors une action de représailles limitées, ce qui était admis par le droit international de l’époque. Elle saisit sur l’île de Ganghwa, Incheon Métropole, 297 volumes d’archives du protocole coréen - Le Uigwe, qui étaient traditionnellement établis en plusieurs exemplaires, et les dépose en France à la Bibliothèque Nationale. 

Le début des relations diplomatiques date du 4 juin 1886, lorsqu’est signé un traité d’amitié, de commerce et de navigation entre la Corée et la France. L’année suivante, Victor Collin de PLANCY, premier représentant officiel de la France, prend ses fonctions à Séoul. Il y servira jusqu’en 1906, soit pendant une quinzaine d’années si l’on tient compte d’une interruption de séjour de cinq ans, pendant laquelle il est remplacé par Hyppolite FRANDIN (1890-95). 

Les effectifs de l’ambassade de France en Corée restent des plus modestes durant cette période, puisqu’ils se limitent à deux personnes : le chef de poste et un interprète, Maurice Courant, considéré aujourd’hui comme le père des études coréennes en France. 

Malheureusement, ces débuts prometteurs sont interrompus pendant plus de quarante ans (1906-49) par la perte de souveraineté de la Corée et les conséquences de la seconde guerre mondiale sur la Péninsule. Il n’y a donc aucun agent diplomatique français en Corée pendant toute cette période. 

Toutefois la France reste attentive au sort de la nation coréenne et accueille à Paris pendant un an, en 1919, une délégation du Gouvernement coréen en exil, qui s’était constitué en avril 1919 à Shanghai. 

L’ambassade est réouverte en 1949, et un nouveau chef de poste arrive en mars 1950, mais il est fait prisonnier au mois de juillet et déporté en Corée du Nord pendant trois ans (juillet 1950-mai 1953). Il en reviendra affaibli mais poursuivra néanmoins sa carrière diplomatique, notamment en Afghanistan dans des circonstances également dramatiques. Lorsque revient un ambassadeur de France à Séoul en 1954, présence qui n’a plus été interrompue depuis, les relations diplomatiques franco-coréennes n’ont été effectives que durant une vingtaine d’années. 

Les relations humaines, au-delà de quelques individus, remontent en fait à la guerre de Corée (1950-1953). Alors seulement, des milliers de Français découvrent la Corée, dans des circonstances tragiques qui mettent en valeur le courage et l’énergie du peuple coréen. Chaque année, pendant trois ans, un millier de volontaires français du Bataillon de l’ONU viendront combattre sous le commandement du légendaire Général MONCLAR, au sein du 23ème régiment de la 2ème division d’infanterie américaine. Il convient de noter que celle-ci est la seule division de l’armée américaine jamais créée en dehors du territoire des Etats-Unis, en l’occurrence en France en 1917. Au total, 3 200 volontaires français, pour la plupart issus de la Résistance et des Forces Françaises Libres, viendront en Corée pendant la guerre et 270, près d’un sur dix, y seront tués. 

Plusieurs monuments témoignent de cet épisode de l’histoire militaire : le monument aux morts du Bataillon français à Suwon, où il était stationné, la stèle installée en 2007 au sein du carré français du cimetière des Nations Unies à Busan, un monument dédié au Commandant médecin Jean-Louis, tué en portant secours à un blessé coréen à l’est de Hongcheon, et la plaque commémorative au Mémorial de la guerre à Séoul. 

De la guerre de Corée date ainsi le premier contact entre de nombreux ressortissants des deux pays. Jamais auparavant, autant de Français et de Coréens ne s’étaient rencontrés. Jamais non plus on n’avait autant parlé de la Corée en France, au-delà d’un cercle de spécialistes. C’est seulement en 2002, à l’occasion de la Coupe du Monde de football, qu’il y a eu plus de Français en Corée (6 à 7000) que durant toute la guerre. Mais c’est évidemment une Corée très différente de celle d’alors, et une toute autre atmosphère, de jeu et de plaisir partagé, qu’ont découverte les Français. 

La célébration en 2016 du 130ème anniversaire de l’établissement des relations diplomatiques entre nos deux pays a en outre été l’occasion pour le grand public d’approfondir sa connaissance du pays partenaire grâce à une série d’événements phares organisés tant en France qu’en Corée dans le domaine des arts et de la culture comme de la science et des hautes technologies. Cette richesse et cette diversité culturelles, enracinées dans le passé propre à chacune des deux nations, constituent un atout pour le développement présent et à venir de nos relations. 

Bien après l’établissement des relations diplomatiques (1886), et après le premier développement substantiel des échanges franco-coréens consécutifs à la guerre de Corée (1950-1953), une chercheuse coréenne a travaillé pendant plusieurs années à la Bibliothèque Nationale de France sur ces archives. Elle pense que certains volumes sont uniques, les autres copies de ces volumes en Corée ayant été perdues ou détruites. L’idée d’obtenir le retour des archives naît alors. Ces 297 livres recensent les rites royaux, observés par la dynastie de Joseon, qui régna sur la ­péninsule du XIVe siècle jusqu’à à la ­colonisation japonaise, en 1910. Une fonction fondamentale dans une ­monarchie confucéenne où l’équilibre politique passe par le respect des rites ancestraux. 

Des négociations sont entreprises dès les années 1990, elles dureront jusqu’en 2010 et l’annonce par le président Nicolas SARKOZY la fin d’un contentieux vieux de 164 ans, qui empoi­sonnait les relations diplomatiques entre la France et la Corée du Sud. Le président français a annoncé la restitution des archives royales coréennes à l’issue du sommet du G20 qui s’est tenu à Séoul. Le président français a promis à son ­homologue, LEE Myung-bak, de retourner sous la forme d’un prêt renouvelable de cinq ans les livres qui avaient été pillés par la marine de Napoléon III en 1866. « Le temps est venu de régler cette question. Je sais que ces archives font partie de l’héritage culturel coréen », a déclaré Nicolas SARKOZY. 

La fin du contentieux sur les archives royales a donné un nouvel élan à la relation bilatérale. Monsieur SARKOZY a rencontré le président coréen en marge du sommet du G20 à Séoul en novembre 2010. L’année suivante, c’est Monsieur LEE Myung-bak qui s’est rendu à Paris à la même période. La même année, en octobre 2011, le premier ministre, Monsieur François FILLON, s’est rendu en visite officielle à Séoul, où il a rencontre son homologue et le président coréens. 

Depuis l’élection de Monsieur François HOLLANDE à la présidence française, les ministres des Affaires étrangères des deux pays se sont rencontrés en marge du sommet du G20 à Los Cabos, en juin 2012. Les ministres de la Défense avaient eu quelques jours auparavant des discussions à Singapour, en marge du "Shangri-la dialogue", sur la sécurité en Asie. 

Madame Geneviève FIORASO, Ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, a représenté le Président HOLLANDE à la cérémonie d’investiture de Madame PARK Geun-hye en février 2013. Cette visite a été suivie de celle de Madame Fleur PELLERIN, Ministre des Petites et Moyennes entreprises, de l’Innovation et de l’Economie numérique, en mars 2013. Le Premier ministre français, Monsieur Jean-Marc AYRAULT, a effectué une visite de travail à Séoul le 25 juillet 2013 au cours de laquelle il a notamment rencontre la Présidente, Madame PARK, et son homologue, Monsieur CHUNG Hong-won. Madame PARK est, quant à elle, prévue en France en novembre de cette même année.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Poland-Korean Republic Diplomatic Relations

Poland and Republic of Korea established the diplomatic relations in November 1st 1989, prior to the collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc in Europe. The office of Polish Embassy in South Korea is located at 20-1 Samcheong Avenue/Samcheongno, Sagan-dong 70-beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu.

Korea is the main business partner in this part of the world and the biggest Asian investor in Poland. Momentum the Polish-Korean relations achieved in last decades must not be lost. Strategic location in the heart of Europe, strong international market on the crossroads between the European Union and Eastern and Southern Europe are the main reasons for promoting Poland to the Korean Companies. Productive, young and skilled labour forces. Professional and equal treatment of investment projects in line with OECD regulations. Incentives to encourage new investments. Central Europe's most populous domestic consumer market of 40 million people.

Political relations between Poland and Republic of Korea have solid foundations. Both countries and nations share historical similarities: courage struggle for national independence and political values of democracy, freedom and open society.

In addition for nearly 50 years Poland is present at the Korean peninsula as a member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. Poland is fully committed to fulfil Poland's international obligations and contribute to achieving final peaceful settlement on the Korean peninsula. 

Stosunki dyplomatyczne pomiędzy Polska a Republiką Korei zostały ustanowione 1 listopada 1989 roku. Dla Polski, Reublika jest ważnym  partnerem gospodarczym i politycznym w regionie Azji Wschodniej. W szczególności należy zwrócić uwagę na obecność Polski na Półwyspie Koreańskim poprzez jej uczestnictwo w Komisji Nadzorczej Państw Neutralnych, która od 1953 roku nadzoruje przestrzeganie zawieszenia broni pomędzy Republiką Korei a Koreańską Republiką Ludowo-Demokratyczną. W poniższej sekcji znajdują się główne informacje na temat współpracy gospodarczej, politycznej i kulturalnej pomiędzy oboma państwami.

Współpraca kulturalna pomiędzy Republika Korei a Polską w ostatnich latach nabrała znacznego przyśpieszenia. W sekcji Aktualności znajda państwo informacje na temat planowanych, toczących sie lub juz zakończonych wydarzeniach kulturalnych promujących Polskę w Republice Korei.

Wszelkie informacje dotyczące możliwości prowadzenia działalności gospodarzej w republice Korei a także nawiązania kontaktów z koreańskimi firmami znajda Państwo w przewodniku po rynku, przygotowanych przez Wydział Promocji handlu i Inwestycji, Ambasady RP w Seulu.

Canada-Korean Republic Diplomatic Relations

English/Anglais: extract from wikipedia.org
Canada–South Korea relations are foreign relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea. Canadian soldiers participated in the defense of South Korea during the Korean War. Full diplomatic relations between Canada and South Korea were established on January 14th 1963. Canada has an embassy in 21 Jeongdong Drive/Jeongdong-gil, Jeongdong 16-1 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu and a consulate in Dongsung Chemical Building, 99 Shinsan Avenue/Sinsanno, Sinpyeong-dong 472-beonji, Busan Saha-gu. South Korea has an embassy in Ottawa (Ontario) and three Consulates-General, in Montreal (Quebec), Toronto (Ontario) and Vancouver (British Columbia). Both nations are full members of APEC, OECD and the G20.

According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 77% of South Koreans view Canada positively, with only 4% expressing a negative view. However, despite their cordial government relations, Canadian views of South Korea are somewhat negative, with 38% viewing South Korea positively and 41% viewing South Korea negatively.

Contact between Canada and the Republic of Korea date back to the 19th century when Canadians were some of the first Westerners to arrive on the Korean peninsula, a majority of whom were Christian missionaries, though they branched out into other fields of work. Rev. Canadian James S. Gale (1863-1937) created the Korean-English Dictionary which became the first and most essential tool for the scholarly study of Korea in the West; and did an independent translation of the Bible into the Korean language. Another Canadian, Dr. Oliver R. Avison, was the personal physician to Emperor Gojong Gwangmu (1852-1919) and is considered the founder of modern medical knowledge in Korea. Official contact began in 1947 when Canada participated in the United Nations Commission overseeing election in Korea, and Canada formally recognized the Republic of Korea in 1949.

When war broke out between North Korea and South Korea in 1950, Canada sent 26,971 military personnel to the Korean peninsula as part of a United Nations force, the third largest contingent behind the United States and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Canadians saw action in both naval and air forces with eight destroyers, 3,621 naval officers and men, twenty-two fighter pilots and several technical officers; whom were attached to the U.S. Fifth Air Force. Canada continued peacekeeping operations in Korea with the introduction of the Armistice Agreement. Due to the nature of the Korean War as the "The Forgotten War", public awareness has been raised with the dedication of a national monument in 1997 - the Wall of Remembrance in Brampton, Ontario. 516 Canadians died in the war and 378 Canadians lie buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery near Busan.

In 2006 South Korea was the 9th ranked destination for Canadian exports (0.7%) and the 7th ranked source of imports (1.5%). In December 2009, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, traveled to Seoul on his Asian Tour. The two countries talked on opening further trade relations. Despite suggesting trade advancements in technology and resources, South Korea did not commit to a lifting of the ban on Canadian beef. In October 2011, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz stated that he felt confident that South Korea would reopen the South Korean market to Canadian beef by year's end. The ban has existed since 2003. Trade relations in the beef market have softened as of early 2012, ending the ban of imported beef. Canada continues to make significant strides in relations with Korea in many areas, including open free trade agreements.

French/Français: extract from the official site of Canadian Embassy in Seoul
Le Canada entretient depuis longtemps des relations constructives avec la République de Corée (qu’on nomme couramment la Corée du Sud). La relation bilatérale amicale s’épanouit à mesure que la Corée du Sud prend de l’importance à titre de partenaire économique et d’allié aux aspirations semblables dans les instances multilatérales. En tant que pays commerçants, le Canada et la Corée du Sud appuient la libéralisation du commerce et sont membres de nombreuses organisations économiques multilatérales, y compris le G20, le forum de Coopération économique Asie‑Pacifique (APEC), l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) et l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). Les deux pays partagent également des points de vue semblables au sujet de nombreuses questions multilatérales et mondiales, y compris le renforcement du système de commerce multilatéral, la réforme du conseil de sécurité de l'ONU, les droits de la personne et la non-prolifération et l'abolition des armes nucléaires.

Les premiers Canadiens en Corée étaient des missionnaires et des enseignants qui ont apporté d’importantes contributions culturelles, scientifiques et sociales au développement de la Corée, de la fin du XIXsiècle jusqu’à la période de l’occupation japonaise. À la suite de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le Canada a contribué à la supervision conjointe des élections en Corée du Sud, élections entreprises par la Commission des Nations Unies en 1947. Au total, 26 791 Canadiens ont combattu au cours de la Guerre de Corée (1950‑1953), conflit qui a coûté la vie à 516 Canadiens. La présence continue du Canada au sein de la Commission d’armistice de l’ONU et du Commandement militaire de l’ONU rappelle notre contribution à cette guerre. En 2010, le gouvernement de la Corée du Sud a entrepris une campagne ambitieuse visant à souligner le 60anniversaire du déclenchement de la Guerre de Corée.

La Corée du Sud est le septième partenaire commercial du Canada au chapitre de l’exportation de marchandises et son troisième marché d’exportation en Asie, après la Chine et le Japon. Le commerce bilatéral de marchandises entre le Canada et la Corée du Sud est important. Il se situait à près de 11,7 milliards de dollars en 2011. Les exportations de marchandises du Canada vers la Corée du Sud étaient de l'ordre de 5,1 milliards de dollars, alors que les importations de marchandises au Canada étaient de 6,6 milliards de dollars. Les principales exportations canadiennes de marchandises vers la Corée du Sud comprenaient les huiles et les combustibles minéraux, les céréales, la pâte de bois, les minerais et la viande. Les principales importations de marchandises du Canada depuis la Corée du Sud étaient les véhicules, l’équipement électrique et électronique, la machinerie, les huiles et les combustibles minéraux et le fer et l’acier.

Les rapports entre les gens ont augmenté rapidement. En moyenne, 7 000 immigrants de la Corée du Sud se sont ajoutés annuellement à la population du Canada de 1999 à 2008. Le nombre de Canadiens d'origine coréenne est passé à plus de 200 000. On compte plus de 20 000 Canadiens résidant en Corée du Sud, y compris plus de 5 000 personnes enseignant l’anglais.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Korean Shitty Facts: Korean Republic Presidents who Originated from Yeongnam Region

Since the Government of Republic of Korea formed in August 15th 1948 (3rd Year After Gwangbokjeol), there are eleven Presidents with eighteen terms serve this Southern State in Korean Peninsula. Among of these presidents, only seven presidents are originated from Yeongnam-Gyeongsang Region. This is because that region has strong political background. Most of the Gyeongsangite Presidents are rooted from the Conservative Party of Saenuri except for Roh Moo-hyun who originated from Centrist-based Democratic United Party.

Lists, arranged in chronological order:

1. President Park Chung-hee (Masao Takagi) - Mastermind of Teacher's Day Coup d'etat (May 16th 1961), Master designer of October Yushin Constitution, father of the current President Park Geun-hye
(Born: November 14th 1917 - Assassinated: October 28th 1979)
3rd President of Republic of Korea (5th~9th Term in 3rd~4th Republic)
Place of Birth: 107 Park Chung-hee Avenue, Sangmo-dong 171-beonji, Gumi City, Northern Gyeongsang Province
Designated Clan: Goryeong Park

2. President Chun Doo-hwan - Mastermind behind 12.12 Military Coup and 5.18 Gwangju Massacre
(Born: January 18th 1931)
5th President of Republic of Korea (11th~12th Term in 5th Republic)
Place of Birth: 14 Naecheon 2nd Street/Naecheon 2-gil, Naecheon-ri, Yulgok-myeon, Hapcheon County, Southern Gyeongsang
Designated Clan: Wansan Chun/Jeon

3. President Roh Tae-woo - President Chun Doo-hwan's faithful dog (right-hand man)
(Born: December 4th 1932)
6th President of Republic of Korea (13th Term in 6th Republic)
Place of Birth: 172 Yongjin Street/Yongjin-gil, Sinyong-dong 596-beonji, Daegu Dong-gu
Designated Clan: Gyoha Roh/Noh

4. President Kim Young-sam (Kousuke Kanemura) - the person who bring his two predecessors (Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo) to the trial, Master Designer of Segyehwa Policy, true Gyeongsangite Dialect Speaker
(Born: December 20th 1927)
7th President of Republic of Korea (14th Term in 6th Republic)
Place of Birth: 743-1 Okpo Battlefield Avenue/Okpo-Daecheomno, Oepo-ri 1383-3 beonji, Jangmok-myeon, Geoje City, Southern Gyeongsang 
Designated Clan: Gimnyeong Kim

5. President Roh Moo-hyun - successor of Kim Dae-jung, Master Designer of Sunshine Policy, Grand Order of Mugunghwa (Sharon Rose) Medallist after his presidential tenure
(Born: September 1st 1946 - Committed Suicide: May 23rd 2009)
9th President of Republic of Korea (16th Term in 6th Republic)
Place of Birth/Suicide: Bongha Village, 129-1 Bongha Avenue/Bongha-ro, Bonsan-ri 30-beonji, Jinyeong-eup, Gimhae City, Southern Gyeongsang
Designated Clan: Gwangju Roh/Noh

6. President Lee Myung-bak (2MB - Akihiro Tsukiyama) - short-lived memory president, Sunshine Policy Obliterator, a president who born outside Korean Peninsula (Osaka Hirano-ku, Japan), the person who build Malaysian 1st Penang bridge, one of the Corrupted Family
(Born: December 19th 1941)
10th President of Korea (17th Term in 6th Republic)
Permanent Residence: 522 Deoksil Village Street/Deoksil Maeul-gil, Deokseong 1-ri 561-beonji, Heunghae-eup, Pohang Buk-gu, Northern Gyeongsang 
Designated Clan: Gyeongju Lee/Yi

7. President Park Geun-hye - daughter of President Park Chung-hee, Queen of Votes, First Woman President of Republic of Korea, the person who detested 2MB and his policies
(Born: February 2nd 1952)
11th President of Republic of Korea (18th term in 6th Republic)
Place of Birth: Paris Baguette Dongseongno-Maldives Branch, 25 Dongseong Avenue 5th Street/Dongseongno 5-gil, Samdeok-dong 1-ga 5-2 beonji, Daegu Jung-gu 
Designated Clan: Goryeong Park

Mount Gwanak, Trademark of Seoul Gwanak-gu

Mount Gwanak (Hanja: 冠岳山; Elevation: 632m [2,073ft] above sea level) is a small mountain in southern Seoul, South Korea. Portions lie in Seoul Gwanak-gu and Seoul Geumcheon-gu; other portions lie in the neighboring cities of Anyang Manan-gu and Gwacheon in Gyeonggi Province. This mountain is a trademark of Seoul Gwanak-gu.

The name gwanak means "hat-shaped peak," and refers to its gat-like profile. Thus Gwanaksan literally means "mountain of the hat-shaped peak." Currently it is referred to as "Gwanak," since san already contains the meaning of "mountain." Together with Mount Songak in Kaesong (Present-day DPRK), Mount Gamak in Paju, Mount Uak in Pocheon, and Mount Hwaak in Gapyeong, Gwanaksan was long considered one of the five representative peaks of Gyeonggi Province (Gyeonggi-do o-ak).

The main campus of Seoul National University is located just northwest of the mountain, the Government Complex Gwacheon and Gwacheon City Hall lies to the east. Also nearby is the Anyang Resort Area, a popular local tourist attraction. On the mountain itself lie numerous Buddhist temples, including Wongaksa. Most of the mountain slope is protected land. The mountain is very popular with older climbers, since it can easily be reached by Seoul's public transportation. Annual hiking traffic is close to 50 million people. The Seoul side was designated a city park in 1968.

This mountain is accessible either by using Seoul Metro Line 2 to Station 228: Seoul National University Station if you're hiking in Seoul Gwanak-gu area OR KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 1 to Station P146: Gwanak if you're hiking in Anyang Manan-gu area.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Gone with the Typhoon: Typhoon Observatory, Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province

Typhoon Observatory (Hanja/Romanization: 颱風展望臺/Taepung Jeonmangdae) was established on 3 Dec. 1991 by the 28th Infantry Division Invincible Typhoon Force (Kor: 무적태풍부대/無敵颱風部隊/Mujeok-taepung Budae) of Korean Republic Army VI Corps (Codename: Advance/진군부대/Jin-gun budae). It is located at the top Suri Peak of Mount Bikki, Hoengsan-ri san 108-beonji, Jung-myeon, Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province; which is located around 65km from Seoul and around 140km from Pyongyang. At first, it was built between Southern Limit Line and Northern Limit Line, 2km from the Military Demarcation Line. Now that North Korea put iron impalement around the truce line in 1968, South Korea set up iron impalement partially in 1978. Typhoon (Taepung) Observatory was established 800m from the truce line and 1,600m from a guard post of North Korea. Thus, it became the closest observatory on the truce line of 155 miles (244km).

Monday, 22 July 2013

Take Fivers: Aftermath of ROK Presidential Election 2012

Mr. Timotheus Moon Jae-in's Case:
He was lost to Park Geun-hye in Presidential Election [14,692,692-15,773,128 (48.0%-51.6%)]. During the media conference, he apologized to his supporters that he can't beat Madam Park in this election. Nevertheless, Mr. Moon triggered Kanon's berserk button. 
Timotheus Moon: Kanon, Liu Bei... I'm so sorry because I've disappointed both of you. This situation is inevitable to me.

Madam Juliana Park Geun-hye's Case:
Madam Park was elected as 11th President of Republic of Korea for 18th Term after beating her opponent, Timotheus Moon Jae-in of DemUtd. She was the First Woman who ascended the seat of President of ROK. That time, she thanked to her supporters who voted her as the leader of ROK. In fact, Sister Chaos entrusted her to be the leader of the South. 
Juliana Park: First of all, I would like to thank you for supporting me from beginning until the presidential election, especially for Cho Hwa-rim and Sister Chaos. 

Moral of the story: DON'T mess with yandere girls.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Great, Glamorous and Glorious Goguryeo (4G), Part II: King Gwanggaeto the Great, Great Conquerer of Goguryeo

King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo (Hangul/Hanja: 광개토태왕/廣開土太王; Born: 374 – Died: 413; Reigned: 391–413) or also known as Go Damdeok (Hangul/Hanja: 고담덕/高談德) was the nineteenth monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was a member in the Royal House of Hoengseong Go (횡성 고씨/橫城高氏), originated from Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province

His full posthumous name roughly means "Very Greatest King, Broad Expander of Territory, buried in Gukgangsang/국강상광개토경평안호태왕/國岡上廣開土境平安好太王 (Gukgangsang Gwanggaeto-gyeong Pyeongan Hotaewang)" or "Very Greatest King, Broad Expander of [Goguryeo] Land, buried in Gukgangsang/국강상광개토지호태왕(國岡上廣開土地好太王)/Gukgangsang Gwanggaeto-ji Hotaewang or 국강상광개토지호태성왕(國崗上廣開土地好太聖王)/Gukgangsang Gwanggaeto-ji Hotaeseongwang," generally abbreviated to Gwanggaeto-wang (King-Broad Expander of Territory) or Hotaewang. He selected Yeongnak as his regnal name, so is called Yeongnak Taewang/영락태왕/永樂太王 (Yeongnak the Great or Yeongnak the Supreme) occasionally.

Under Gwanggaeto, Goguryeo once again became a major power of East Asia, having enjoyed such a status in the 2nd century CE. Upon Gwanggaeto's death at thirty-nine years of age in 413, Goguryeo controlled all territory between the Amur and Han Rivers (two thirds of modern Korea, Manchuria, parts of Russia's Primorsky Krai, and Inner Mongolia).

In addition, in 399, Silla submitted to Goguryeo for protection from raids from Baekje. Gwanggaeto captured the Baekje capital in present-day Seoul and made Baekje its vassal. Many consider this loose unification under Goguryeo to have been the only true unification of the Three Kingdoms.

At the time of Gwanggaeto's birth, Goguryeo was not as powerful as it once had been. Just prior to his birth, King Geunchogo of Baekje had soundly defeated Goguryeo, slaying Gogugwon of Goguryeo. Sosurim of Goguryeo, who succeeded Gogugwon upon the latter's death in 371, kept his foreign policy as isolationist as possible so as to rebuild a state gravely weakened by the Baekje invasion of 371. Gogugyang, who succeeded Sosurim, maintained a similar policy, opting to focus on the rehabilitation and remobilization of Goguryeo forces.

After defeating Goguryeo in 371, Baekje had become one of the dominant powers in East Asia, whose influence was not limited to the Korean peninsula, but extended as far as Liaoxi in China. Baekje under Geunchogo's leadership also seems to have had a close relationship with parts of Wa (Japan) and established good relations with that archipelago's natives. Thus Goguryeo, surrounded by a powerful Baekje's forces to its south and west, was inclined to avoid conflict with its peninsular neighbor while cultivating constructive relations with the Xianbei and Rouran, in order to defend itself from future invasions, and even the possible destruction of its state.

Gwanggaeto succeeded his father, King Gogugyang, upon his death in 391. Immediately upon being crowned King of Goguryeo, Gwanggaeto granted himself the title "Supreme King Yeongnak", affirming himself as equal to the rulers of China and the King of Baekje. He then began to rebuild and retrain Goguryeo's cavalry units and naval fleet, and they were put into action the following year, 392, against Baekje.

In 392, with Gwanggaeto in personal command, Goguryeo attacked Baekje with 50,000 cavalry, taking 10 walled cities along the two countries' mutual border. This offensive infuriated King Asin of Baekje and he subsequently planned a counter-offensive against Gwanggaeto, a plan he was forced to abandon when his invasion force was defeated by Goguryeo in 393. King Asin again attacked Goguryeo in 394, and was again defeated. After several heavy defeats, Baekje began to politically crumble and the leadership of Asin came under doubt. Baekje was defeated by Goguryeo again in 395, and was eventually pushed back to a front along the Han River, where Wiryeseong was, then its capital city located in the southern part of modern day Seoul and Hanam, Gyeonggi Province.

In the following year, Gwanggaeto led his huge fleet in an assault on Wiryeseong, approaching by sea and river. Asin was expecting a ground invasion and was caught with his defenses down. Gwanggaeto's forces burnt about 58 walled fortresses under Baekje control, and defeated the forces of King Asin. Asin surrendered to Gwanggaeto, even handing over his brother as a Goguryeo captive as condition for maintaining his own rule over Baekje. Gwanggaeto had finally gained superiority over its longtime rival Baekje on the Korean peninsula.

In 395, during a campaign against Baekje, the King himself attacked and conquered Beili, a small part of the Khitan tribe located in central Manchuria. Its exact location is not known but it was not very far from the Songhua River.

In 400, Later Yan, founded by the Murong clan of the Xianbei in present-day Liaoning Province, attacked Goguryeo. Gwanggaeto responded swiftly, recovering most of the territory seized by the Xianbei and driving most of them from Goguryeo. Then in 402, he decided to launch an attack on Later Yan itself, determined to protect his Kingdom from further threat. In the same year Gwanggaeto defeated the Xienpei, seizing some of their border fortresses. In 404, he invaded Liaodong and took the entire Liaodong Peninsula.

The Xianbei did not watch idly as Goguryeo forces took over their lands. In 405, forces of the Later Yan crossed the Liao River, and attacked Goguryeo but were defeated by Gwanggaeto. The Murong Xianbei invaded once again the following year, but yet again the Goguryeo King was able to repel them. Gwanggaeto led several more campaigns against Xianbei as well as against Khitan tribes in Inner Mongolia, which he brought under his control. In 408, the king sent a peace delegate to Gao Yun, then ruler of Later Yan/Northern Yan, to broker a settlement between the two dynasties, because Gao Yun descended from the Goguryeo royal house as well. Goguryeo control over the Liaoning region remained strong until the Tang Dynasty seized the area as a part of its war against Goguryeo in the late 7th century.

In 410 Gwanggaeto began his conquest of the Dongbuyeo. The Dongbuyeo was no match for the massive army of Goguryeo, and it suffered a series of defeats, finally surrendering to Goguryeo after King Gwanggaeto conquered sixty-four walled cities and more than 1,400 villages. Gwanggaeto also attacked several Malgal and Ainu tribes further north, bringing them under Goguryeo domination.

In 400, Silla, another Korean kingdom in the southeast of the peninsula, requested Goguryeo assistance to defend against an alliance of Japanese army, the Baekje kingdom to the west, and the Gaya Confederacy to the southwest. In the same year, King Gwanggaeto responded with 50,000 troops, defeated both Japanese and Gaya cavalry units, and made both Silla and Gaya submit to his authority. In 402, he returned King Silseong-Maripgan to Silla, to establish peaceful relationship with the kingdom while he continued the conquest of the north, but Goguryeo forces remained and continued to influence Silla.

King Gwanggaeto died of unknown disease in 413, at the age of thirty-nine. Although Gwanggaeto ruled for only twenty-two years and died fairly young, his conquests are said to mark the high tide of Korean history. Except for the period of 200 years beginning with his son and successor, King Jangsu, and the later kingdom of Balhae, Korea never before or since ruled such a vast territory. There is evidence that Goguryeo's maximum extent lay even further west, in present-day Mongolia, bordered by the Rouran and Göktürks. Gwanggaeto is also given credit for establishing the reign titles that were recorded for the first time in Korean history, a symbolic gesture elevating Goguryeo monarchs as equals to their Chinese counterparts.

Today, King Gwanggaeto the Great is one of two rulers of Korea who were given the title 'Great' after their name (the other one being King Sejong the Great of Joseon, who created the Korean alphabet a.k.a Hangul). He is regarded by Koreans as one of the greatest heroes of their history, and is often taken as a potent symbol of Korean nationalism. Recently, the People's Republic of China launched its program of attempting to incorporate the history of Goguryeo within the context of Chinese history, which has been met with indignation from Koreans.

The Gwanggaeto Stele, a six-meter monument erected by King Jangsu of Goguryeo in 414, was rediscovered in Manchuria in 1875 by a Chinese scholar. The stele was inscribed with information about his reign, but not all characters are preserved, and Korean and Japanese scholars disagree as to their interpretation.

Allah Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun, Part V: Busan Al-Fatah Masjid

In the midst of Busan Vacance, let's go to this masjid to perform five prayers a day.
Islam etymologically means peace and submission in Arabic. There are few places better than mosques where people can understand Islamic culture. The Busan Al-Fatah Mosque (Hanja: 釜山聖院) opened at 123-9 Geumdan Avenue/Geumdanno, Namsan-dong 30-1 beonji, Busan Geumjeong-gu in 1980. It is the second mosque built in Korea after Seoul Central Mosque and first built in Yeongnam-Gyeongsang Region. Not a few Koreans frequent the mosque although it is very strange to them. There are parents who bring their children to the mosque.

The main building and attached structures were constructed under the auspice of Dr. Ali Fellagh, then Minister of Finance of Libya. At the inaugural ceremony, more than 50 delegates from Islamic countries participated. The plottage of al-Fatah Mosque is 2,087㎡(about 600 pyung) and Mosque building is 210 ㎡, Islam center is 1334 ㎡ and can accommodate about 250 people.

Presently, Yasir Lee Jong-yeuk is the chairman and imam. In past, there were 3 Thai Da’wah workers for Islam propagation, but presently there is no one. The major activities include: an exhibition for Islamic culture, Arabic language lectures, lectures on the Islamic creed, contest for Qur’an recitation, various activities for Islamic propagation via mass media in Busan area, and an athletic meeting for Muslims etc. 

At Friday prayer, there are usually about 50 people including foreign Muslims. Student’s association has many activities led by students from Arabic department of the Pusan University of Foreign Studies. They launch Islam propagation projects during the period of festivals at the 5 local universities. They also opened a public lounge room of Islam culture for the local people. They teach Arabic and English language classes and lecture on the Islamic creed continuously. In conjunction with the World Cup Korea-Japan in 2002 (H.1423) and the Busan Asian Games, they opened a butchery in the center to produce Halal meat to meet the needs of the Muslims in Busan area.

A prayer leader or imam explains about the history and meaning of Islam and current information, and describes the shape and function of the mosque building, when asked in advance. Visitors can look around the praying ceremony if they get permission. Hundreds of Muslims come to the mosque for prayer on Friday. Before praying, believers perform ablution, which is a rare culture seen in Korean religious life.

Arabic language classes are free. English lectures are also given by English speaking believers who have converted to Islam. But it is not so easy to open Arabic classes as few people want to learn the language. 

Students hoping to study in Arab countries are able to get consultations at the mosque although it is not the place for such activities. The Korea Muslim Federation Busan Branch opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This mosque is accessible by using Busan HüMetro Line 1 to Station 131: Dusil. For more information, dial +82-51 518-9991 or visit the website www.busanislam.or.kr.